FTC Nominees Approved

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The Senate over the weekend approved the nominations of Federal Trade Commissioners William Kovacic and J. Thomas Rosch.

Rosh, former "Antitrust Lawyer of the Year" in California and a partner at Latham & Watkins, and Kovacic, a law professor at George Washington University and counsel to D.C. law firm Bryan Cave, were agreed that the FTC's priorities were energy policy, health care and getting a handle on Internet issues including spam, spyware and identity theft.

Both worked for the commission early in their careers and told the Senate Commerce Committee in their confirmation hearings last month that they came back to make a difference--not just  to collect the low-hanging fruit but to plant some trees that would be around after they are gone.

Both pushed the committee to pass the FTC-proposed Safe Web Act, which would allow for more global sharing of information and cooperative investigation of online fraud.

Rosch said his "unifying principle" of regulating would be "visibility." He said he admires the highway patrol model. "When they are on my tail, I am more cautious," he said. Rosch said the commission needs to staff up and to build better bench strength when it goes to trial against some of the best lawyers in the country.

Kovacic is up for the seat of Orson Swindle, a Reagan appointee who was openly critical of calls for restrictions on food ads, though that issue did not come up in the hearing.

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